Yesterday Nick Katinas (@nkatinas22) wrote a piece on why he hates LeBron James and then the most likely destinations of the King if he does choose to leave Cleveland. He hit on the Lakers, Clippers and Spurs, so give that a read. But wait, what’s this bomb that just dropped on Twitter this morning?
ESPN Sources: LeBron James could meet with Golden State Warriors during free-agency. https://t.co/6VACFDFf4M
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 1, 2018
Yesterday Nick and the rest of the world rolled out of bed thinking that they had very finite reasons to hate LeBron James. Well add another one to the list. And, while I agree that the Lakers, Clippers and Spurs are still the three most likely scenarios for the King, if Golden State can clear the cap room, Lebron will sign there. I guarantee it.
In the article, Haynes outlined how realistic it was that Golden State clears the cap room, and let me tell you, it’s a helluva lot easier than you would think (mainly because the NBA salary cap is like the lawless, wild west. Numbers don’t really matter, just pay guys whatever you want.) In order to acquire LeBron, the Warriors would have to initiate a sign and trade with the Cavs, starting with a salary match. Conveniently for Golden State, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala combined make the exact same amount as LeBron (kinda feels like there may have been some planning behind that one). Toss in a few picks, and the Warriors are, well, Golden.
Golden State would also have to move Shaun Livingston’s salary, which shouldn’t be too hard. He’s probably the premier backup point guard in the NBA, with a championship pedigree. Teams want that kid of guy. The trickiest part in all of this, may be getting Kevin Durant to decline his player option and take a pay cut. But then again, Durant originally signed with Golden State at a discount. I was about to note that KD might not be as petty as other superstars in the NBA, but then I remembered that he left OKC because the price of his shoe dropped below $100. So take that logic and throw it out the window.
Haynes goes on to write that James would “take a meeting” (how very noble of him) with Golden State because of their “winning culture”. This is code for chasing Jordan’s ring total. There have also always been rumblings that James respects and admires the way that Golden State and San Antonio play the game (this would be code for getting the hell away from Isaiah Thomas). And of course, there’s the relationship between Durant and James, which we’d always been assured is fantastic. I’m not so sure I buy that, it seems like more of a mutual respect than anything else.
I’m glad that as we head into the summer of 2018, we have to deal with another year of Golden State stealing the headlines. Nothing like the most dominant team in the league getting more dominant, right? As good as the Celtics have been this year, the only team that people believe will come out of the East are the Cavs (and the Milwaukee Bucks according to Charles Barkely ??). If LeBron leaves, the Cavs will join the majority of the NBA in building towards a star-laden future, once Golden State is out of the picture.
At this point, there may be a lot of you thinking that the Warriors wouldn’t have the depth to continue to be this dominant. That may be true, but there will be guys lining up outside of Oracle Arena to sign for the veteran’s minimum and go ring chasing with the three best players in the NBA. With LeBron James in the fold, Golden State would not only win multiple titles, they would obliterate their 73-9 mark from a few seasons back, provided LeBron fits in and doesn’t become the selfish, petty monster he currently is in Cleveland.
In the NBA, role players don’t really matter. Stars are what dictate the game and win championships. So yeah losing Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala hurts, and losing Klay Thompson might possibly alter the way Golden State wants to play. But in the end, does it matter?
LeBron already ruined the NBA once, why not do it again?
Written by: Brian Borders (@bborders12)